The most popular step-by-step flexo printing

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Step by step, flexographic printing started late in China, and there have been setbacks and hesitations in its progress. In recent years, it has developed in flexible packaging printing, but the growth rate is not large. Some people show concern and concern about flexographic printing. What is the future? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Where is the bottleneck? How to overcome and solve? Let's briefly talk about some views for your reference. If you are right, please support and understand more. If you are wrong, please express your views

first of all, we believe that flexo printing has stepped out of difficulties in China and never realized it; From believing that the printing quality is poor, to being generally recognized in the industry, and winning the international award twice, the flexographic printing products with high-line number and high quality continue to appear and receive high praise; From incomplete matching to basically complete matching, especially plate making technology, the world's most advanced CTP equipment is adopted, and the plate making quality is rapidly improved; From stopping to adding more than 50 high-quality unit flexographs every year, this is a qualitative change, which is hard won, which creates a good foundation for a bright future. If the foundation is solid, it will be easy to do in the future

China's flexo printing is developing in a wandering way

first, let's understand why Europe and the United States use it well, use it more, and why China's flexo printing is developing rapidly in corrugated boxes. Flexographic printing has been applied in the United States since the 1930s, and when it competed with gravure printing, because gravure printing mainly used carbon paper to corrode plate making, the number of plate making lines was low, the speed was slow, and the level of technical quality was not high, while flexographic printing showed its superiority in packaging printing by printing cellophane, plastics, newspapers, and the use of web printing brush method, so the progress of flexographic printing in the United States was smooth and had a solid foundation, In addition to environmental protection factors in the future, 9. Control methods: load, displacement and deformation control methods have more than 7000 flexographic printing production lines, accounting for 75% of packaging and printing, which is what we can learn from the future of flexographic printing

in terms of corrugated boxes, due to factors such as on-line production and good quality, flexographic printing in China is much better than the original relief offset printing and silk printing, and the equipment investment cost is not high, which can fully show the characteristics and advantages of flexographic printing. Therefore, it has developed rapidly, and a turnaround has been fought in less than 10 years. At present, 80% of corrugated boxes are flexographic printing

China's flexo printing started in the late 1970s, about 40 years later than the United States. At that time, the laminated machine with simple structure was used to print rough work - vest bags, etc. at the beginning of the 1980s, the world-class satellite machine was introduced. Because it could not produce good products, people were branded with poor flexo printing quality, so it lingered for more than 10 years

and flexo printing began to wake up after wandering. After awakening, the pace of flexo printing is difficult to follow, and several third of it has been produced. Therefore, the development of flexo printing in China is not as favorable as that in Europe and the United States. Flexo printing in the application of flexible packaging, mainly self-adhesive, labels, folding cartons, plastics, these aspects of the market are flat printing, gravure printing, embossing occupation, and their quality is good, forming a preconceived. Although the quality of flexographic printing has been improved through the efforts of the industry and won international awards for the second time, it is not facing the backward letterpress offset printing and silk printing technology of corrugated boxes, but a strong competitor. Although embossing is backward, it is suitable for short-term printing. At present, China is still in the emerging stage of the private economy, and the number of goods is mostly in small batches. It is impossible to reach the middle class in the short term, so there is still a long time for short-term printing. The characteristics and advantages of flexographic printing in flexible packaging cannot be brought into full play. Even if it can be brought into play, it is also affected by lingering fears and preconceptions. Businesses are unwilling to change the printing method and the implementation is not smooth. Secondly, flexographic printing has experienced so many setbacks, and it is also a new process technology. In previous years, the advanced flexographic printing machine sold for millions of yuan, and investors have to wait and see. As a result, the development of flexographic printing is not fast, giving people a call not to buy a seat, I think this is the main bottleneck

in terms of flexible packaging, flexo printing also needs to carry out publicity and continue to work hard to give full play to its advantages. It is impossible to work patiently, develop the market and compete for the market. It is impossible to make rapid progress and hold a golden baby in a short period of time. Don't expect the speed and proportion of hot exhaust to cold exhaust, lead printing to offset printing, newspaper to color newspaper, corrugated box to flexo printing. It is not easy to be prepared to fight a protracted war and maintain gradual progress for several years

the advantages of flexo printing make us confident

flexo printing wants to fight a long war, which does not mean that flexo printing is at a disadvantage, but that it meets the "enemy" hand. It is not easy to realize that flexo printing can play this step. Now the quality of flexo printing is recognized by the industry as comparable to lithography and gravure printing, and it can participate in the competition, which lays the foundation for the development of flexo printing. In recent years, we have seen the gratifying phenomenon of developing flexo printing. Some lithography and gravure printing units have embarked on flexo printing again. Why? Please note: only "some" lithographic and gravure printing units are used here. If some develop into many, the situation will be different. This is very possible. We look forward to this day as soon as possible

in terms of flexible packaging, in the past, it was not comprehensive enough to only publicize the addition of more than 50 unit flexographs every year. In addition to the unit type, more than 200 cascade flexographs are added every year. This type of machine is cheap, and it is also suitable for commodity packaging with low printing requirements and short edition activities. In the future, efforts should be made to publicize the use of satellite flexographs. The reason is that there is a good foundation for the use of flexographs in China, although there are not many satellite flexographs at present, However, users feel that it is suitable for printing PE plastics with large flexibility, products with high overprint requirements, online production, and products with environmental protection requirements. Moreover, there are many satellite machines in Europe and America. We also need to explore and promote flexible printing. One quarter of newspapers in Europe and the United States still use flexible printing. Now flexographic plates are increasing at a rate of 30% every year, and the development prospect of flexographic printing is still good

what are the advantages of flexo printing? We are also constantly improving our understanding and discussing with the industry. Flexo printing has the following advantages

1. Advantages of online production

this is a commonplace. Flexo printing can be combined with other processes, such as indentation, bump rolling, die cutting, bronzing, film coating, code spraying, glazing, slitting, sheet cutting, etc., to form a production line at one time, which can not only improve the quality of prints, but also improve economic efficiency and competitiveness. Now many flexo printing units use this advantage to consolidate and develop flexo printing, such as milk bags, cigarette bags Paper cups, cartons, instant noodles, self-adhesive, labels, napkins, etc. corrugated cartons are also printed, indented and die-cut at one time, which improves economic benefits

2. Flexible printing plate and light pressure can reduce the cost of printing base material

this was previously introduced as a feature of flexographic printing. In fact, this is also a great advantage, which has not been fully recognized and utilized. Flexo is made of non-metallic rubber, which breaks through the shackles of traditional printing using metal plates, and uses non-metallic materials scientifically and boldly. Metal is rigid, while rubber is elastic. Their properties are completely different. The forming temperature is 200 (2) 40 ℃, so the pressure of flexo printing is very light, close to "zero" pressure

in the past, it was publicized that flexographic printing pressure was light, printing plate printing resistance was high, printing speed was fast, and napkins could also be printed. To publicize rubber printing plates, almost all kinds of printing base materials can be printed, thick, thin, good and poor flatness, smooth and rough surface, metal film and corrugated paper can be printed. It is also known that the weight of newspapers can be reduced from 52 grams to 40 grams after using flexographic printing, that is, the advantage of low surface quality requirements of printing base materials and reducing the weight of base materials can be lost. Other printing can't be done. Isn't flexo printing an advantage. Flexographic printing also has advantages on the spot. Flexographic printing is relief printing, which is direct printing. One time of on-site printing can achieve the effect of two times of lithographic printing, which is the same as gravure printing, but the ink volume can be saved by one third

3. Environmental protection advantages

the ink used in flexo printing is environmentally friendly and in the lead. In the United States, water-based inks have been regarded as non-toxic by the food and Drug Association, and the safety of UV inks has also been recognized by the Environmental Protection Bureau. The development of flexographic printing abroad has environmental factors. Now there are many printed materials in China, which need to meet the safety and health requirements. Flexographic printing is adopted. Although there is no legislation on the safety and health of printed materials, it is expected to be implemented with the enhancement of environmental awareness and the impact of the climate at home and abroad. Ink suppliers should seize this advantage, strive to reduce the sales price and promote the development of flexo printing

4. Market potential advantage

only with a market can we survive and develop. At present, the share of flexographic printing is not high. After the efforts of flexographic printing workers in recent years, the quality of printing products has increased, and the reputation has improved. If we work hard to develop, we can develop our strengths and circumvent our weaknesses, and there is still the possibility of expansion. Secondly, the domestic low-speed relief machine has increased by 39.7% compared with the US $15.887 million in the same period last year. Due to low investment costs, less operating funds, low plate making fees, and short paper path, it is suitable for short edition work and easy to start business, while Europe and the United States have long been eliminated. It is understood that the domestic use of self-adhesive paper is about 1billion square meters/year, of which 60% is completed by these relief machines, and these short version activities will develop into medium and large quantities. Guoma and Zhengwei enterprises in Shanghai and Jiangtian enterprises in Jiangsu originally used low-speed relief machines, and flexographic machines have been purchased in recent years. Third, China's sustained economic growth has also given packaging printing an annual growth of about 12%, and some printing will turn to flexographic printing

5. profit advantage

some printing methods have reached the critical state of profit, and it is quite difficult to tap the potential. However, the profits of flexographic printing enterprises have not reached the critical point. It is generally believed that the current prices of equipment, plate making, ink, light source, printing base material, die-cutting tools, etc. are still high, which is also one of the reasons that hinder the development of flexographic printing, but also feel that with the development of flexographic printing, these related enterprises will achieve low profits and quick turnover, The price will fall, which will increase the profits of flexo printing enterprises and improve their competitiveness

flexo printing has experienced twists and turns in our country, and after improving, it encountered strong lithography and gravure printing. Although it has advantages, it is constrained. Now it is in the running in stage with lithography and gravure printing, so the development is not "fast", which is also the main bottleneck. To overcome and develop, it is impossible to be fast, but flexo printing still has vitality, advantages, potential and market. Flexo printing workers should continue to improve quality through their own efforts, do a good job in service, be persistent, not discouraged, and maintain the gradual development for several years. A spark can start a prairie fire

Author: linfengming, Secretary General of the flexographic printing professional committee of China Printing Association

source: International Printing

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